Color me silly
April 15, 2006 11:26 AM   Subscribe

ColorManagementFilter: Why are my colors losing vivacity after exporting from Photoshop? Example inside.

Example of the color problems that I am having
The difference looks negligible, but when you tile an image over a large area, it appears significantly more lackluster.

I'm completely clueless when it comes to Photoshop's color management features, I'm assuming that there's a problem there? For what it's worth, I'm using Photoshop CS (8.0) on an iBook, exporting it as a PNG (absolutely necessary), and it is happening in multiple browsers (Firefox, Camino, Safari).
posted by charmston to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Welcome to hell, my friend.

Photoshop is a color-managed space in the sense that it understands color profile data, and renders the image accordingly. The web, by and large, is not, and assumes every image uses an sRGB color space (though I think Safari is an exception).

The best you can do is to output your images in sRGB and hope for the best.

Here's a page with more info.
posted by Brian James at 12:00 PM on April 15, 2006

I'm willing to bet that it's because your Proof Colors are off. Press control + Y or go to View menu and click Proof Colors.

You can go into your color settings in the edit menu but you probably don't need to change anything there. If your working with web, make sure you are working in RGB and check your Proof Setup and that your Proof Colors are on.

At least, that's what I did when I had the same problem.
posted by freudianslipper at 12:04 PM on April 15, 2006

Best answer: PNGs have inconsistent gamma correction in different browsers (see: 1, 2). I don't really understand it, but I spent a few hours one day trying to figure out how to get PNGs to look the same in every browser, and concluded that it's impossible. PNGs can only reliably color-match other PNGs. It may help you to know that in Photoshop you'll get different colors in the same image if you save as a PNG or save-for-web as a PNG. But in my experience, neither match the colors in Photoshop before saving.
posted by scottreynen at 12:08 PM on April 15, 2006

I had this happen to images that I was editing for a Word file. I got the originals out of the Word file, edited in photoshop, inserted them back into Word again and the colours were off - a lot. I remember trying to use PNG, but I probably tried other formats too.
posted by Chuckles at 12:54 PM on April 15, 2006

Try this:
- duplicate your file
- In Photoshop, go to Edit/Convert to Profile (NOT assign profile)
- Convert to sRGB (settings: Ace, Relatve Colormetric, Use Blackpoint Comp)
- save as PNG

open in your browser and put it right next to the image in Photoshop. It should look pretty close.

If your monitor color calibration is completely out of whack, there may be a large difference. Be aware that PNG transparency is unsupported in IE for Windows.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:23 PM on April 15, 2006

I usually just turn off color management in photoshop, it seems to help.
posted by delmoi at 4:30 PM on April 15, 2006

Best answer: additionally: there is a known error within photoshop in which it doesn't consistently save gamma correction when it exports PNG files through the "save for web" command. i spent weeks researching this a few months ago.

a plugin called SuperPNG, however, remedies the problem. it lets you simply "save as..." to export your png. i use this daily in photoshop CS2 (and have used in it CS). it, combined with pingCrushrrr (a plugin to reduce png filesizes) takes care of the problem if you're experiencing it.

Be aware that PNG transparency is unsupported in IE for Windows.

easy to get around with scripts which trick IE to display it. google it; you'll find several methods for replacement if this is an issue.
posted by patricking at 4:38 PM on April 15, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the help everybody, lots of good information here! Especially thanks to patricking for the links – SuperPNG and pingCrushrrr are both EXCELLENT finds!

It's really too bad that things are so inconsistent...perhaps another push towards standards is in order...this time in the realm of color management?
posted by charmston at 12:10 PM on April 16, 2006

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